Asthma answers: Tips to keep asthma symptoms under control when temperatures drop

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MILWAUKEE -- The seasons are changing -- and that means trouble for asthma patients. Dr. Rene Franco with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare joins FOX6 WakeUp with asthma answers.

What is asthma?

  • It's a chronic condition
  • Asthma affects adults and children - people can be born with the condition or can develop it later in life
  • Disease that should and can be controlled

Three main symptoms of asthma

  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Worsening of symptoms at night or with exertion

What is important to understand about asthma?

  • Acute attacks can kill someone
  • Chronic changes like shortness of breath, that happen in someone who has asthma can affect you throughout your life - leading to people developing other diseases like COPD.
  • Having other diseases like acid reflux, sinus problems, sleep apnea along with asthma can make symptoms worse

What makes asthma worse or more difficult to control?
The weather is a main factor that affects people with asthma

  • Cold and hot humid weather can make asthma worsen
  • People who have asthma as well as underlying allergies can see their asthma become worse with changes in temperature
  • Environmental changes like pollution, smoke, exhaust and dust, that can be brought on by weather can trigger asthma attacks and worsen the condition

How can people with asthma protect themselves during weather and seasonal like changes?
Top 3 tips to protect yourself:

  • Always carry your inhaler
  • When being active outside (working out, traveling, working, etc.) wear a mask to keep the air around your nose and mouth warm and try to breathe through your nose
  • Have an emergency plan in case an asthma attack happens

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